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Real Life

EXCLUSIVE: Why mum Alise will be splitting her quadruplets up as they head to high school

Bailey, Nate, Ethan and Mitchell take their next big step.

By Monique Butterworth
Filled with the type of mocking banter only four "almost 13" mischievous boys can muster, the Andrew household simmers with a hint of starting high school nerves.
"I can't believe how fast time has flown!" smiles Alise, 49.
"I don't feel I'm as prepared for the boys starting high school as I was when they started primary school. And because they're going to two different high schools, it's a whole new dynamic."
Woman's Day readers first met quads Mitchell, Bailey, Ethan and Nate in 2013 when they were starting school at Wakehurst Public School in Sydney's north.
L-R Bailey, Nate, Ethan, Mitchell Are Media/Will Horner
Fast forward seven years and Mitchell, who is fraternal, will start high school with his identical brothers Bailey, Ethan and Nate, but this time they'll be going their separate ways.
"All the boys are individuals with different personalities. Over the last seven years we've watched them become really competitive with each other, to the point where it can be exhausting," says Alise.
"And that was one of the deciding factors when Todd and I were thinking about high schools for them. We decided they'd be better off at different schools.
"Halfway through Year 4 Nate asked to go to a different primary school to his brothers and we saw how well that actually worked for him," she adds.
Bailey, Ethan, Mitchell and Nate were conceived via IVF on Alise and Todd's fourth attempt. At Alise's eight-week scan, her doctor found three heartbeats. And at the 12-week scan her doctor detected four!
"One of the boys was sitting on top of the other, which was why he wasn't picked up in the initial scan," she says.
"They were born completely healthy at 32 weeks."
Bailey and Ethan are both talented sportspeople and will attend Narrabeen Sports High School while Mitchell and Nate will attend Davidson High School.
The brothers are ready to tackle high school. Are Media/Will Horner
The boys are excited and nervous to start their high school.
"We've all had a look around our new schools and some of our mates will be there too," says Nate.
While Ethan is looking forward to playing extra sport, Bailey, Mitchell and Nate say they're excited about cooking classes because they can "make and eat a lot of food during class".
Interestingly, the budding chefs haven't mastered packing their own lunchboxes – Alise is still taking care of that detail.
Mum Alise admits it's sometimes a struggle to get the boys out the door on time! Are Media/Will Horner
"We've hit that pre-teenage attitude stage. Which is always fun," says Alise, tongue-in-cheek.
"I get up early to make sure lunches are done, breakfast is eaten, they're ready for school and we don't run late. Sometimes it can be a struggle getting them out of bed."
As far as travelling to their new schools goes, Mitchell and Nate can walk to theirs but Bailey and Ethan will need to catch a bus.
Ethan's goal when he finishes school is to play soccer in the UK's Premier League while Bailey, Mitchell and Nate say they all want a good job that "pays well" when school days are done.
It seemed not so long ago the quartet were starting primary school! Are Media/Phillip Castleton
"It's been a big outlay but I'm fortunate because friends whose kids went to Davidson have given the boys hand-me-downs. We don't know anyone who went to Narrabeen," she smiles.
"We're really looking forward to this next stage in the boys' lives. Life is always an adventure."
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